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’Canes in the Community

UM Launches New Digital Tool for Improving Affordable Housing Needs

MAP1

Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement, discusses the MAP mission at The Beacon Council.

By Andres Tamayo
UM News

MIAMI, Fla. (May 29, 2015) – University of Miami officials last week officially launched the Miami Affordability Project, or MAP, an interactive online tool that provides rich data about affordable housing and development.

In a meeting at The Beacon Council, more than 100 community officials, executives, and local media turned out for the event, which has been more than a year-and-a-half in the making and was spearheaded by UM’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement and the Center for Computational Science.

The MAP program is free to use and visualizes neighborhood-level housing market dynamics, and assists in developing data-driven strategies for housing and community development.

“The overall goal of our housing and community development work is to increase the availability of affordable housing and to promote balanced, people- and place-based revitalization strategies that are sensitive to the history and culture of neighborhoods,” said Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement.

The project, which focuses on improving housing opportunities for residents of low- to moderate-income Miami neighborhoods, was funded through grants from JPMorgan Chase and the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund.

Miami ranks first in the nation in severe cost burden, meaning that more people in Miami than in any other metropolitan area spend 50 percent or more of their income on housing.

“With the development of MAP, courtesy of Dr. Bachin and her team at the CCE, we will now be able to better measure, better manage, better provide for affordable housing because our basic assumptions will be right, not wrong,” said Michael Liu, director, Miami-Dade Public Housing and Community Development. “It will be based on empirical data and analysis not on myth and anecdote.”

Liu joined fellow community officials Arden Shank, president and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, and Barbara “Bobbie” Ibarra, executive director of the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, as speakers. The launch also featured speakers from JPMorgan Chase and The Beacon Council.

The innovative project is only the second of its kind – the first was done in New York. For more information on the MAP and its capabilities, visit http://comte.ccs.miami.edu/housing/.

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Sweat Has Its Rewards: Giving Back to the Community

More than 100 faculty and staff from all campuses left their desks and labs Friday and headed to Liberty City’s Charles R. Drew K-8 Center, where they primed, painted, hammered, drilled, and sweated their way through a rewarding UM Day of Service, which was held in advance of Sunday’s Clinton Foundation Day of Action for students attending the Clinton Global Initiative University meeting on the UM campus.

“It’s great to get out of the office and contribute to the community for a good cause,’’ said Human Resources’ Jackie Henderson, who spruced up a garbage enclosure with the Office of the Controller’s Karen Bonner.

UM volunteers worked with the Miami Children’s Initiative, a non-profit organization focused on transforming Liberty City into a prosperous community. They helped community residents paint murals, trash bins, and garden borders, refurbish clothes lines, power wash residences, and build and paint shade structures.

“The response from UM employees was tremendous, and fully reflected the spirit of the U,” said Nerissa Morris, vice president of human resources. “Working with MCI and CGI U, we are making a positive difference in this community, which is part of our common purpose to transform lives through teaching, research, and service. Today we helped transform a neighborhood.”

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TeamUM’s United Way Campaign Surpasses $1 Million Again

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 12, 2015) – Demonstrating the power of philanthropy, faculty and staff contributed their time, talent, and treasure to propel the University through one of its most successful United Way campaigns, raising more than $1 million for the charitable organization that works to improve the lives of Miami-Dade’s citizens.

Through the diligent effort of dedicated ambassadors who coordinated the 2014 campaign at the grassroots level, more than 3,900 faculty and staff participated, raising $1.16 million—up from the previous campaign that brought in $1.13 million.

“I would like to thank our wonderful ambassadors and each and every one of our employees who participated in a fundraising event, or made a payroll pledge, or gave a one-time gift,” said Larry Marbert, UM’s vice president for real estate and facilities, who chaired the University’s 2014 campaign. “Every contribution makes a difference, and it was an honor to play a small role in helping the U deliver once again.”

This year, Marbert said he hopes to improve on employee participation, which declined somewhat from last year. He added that his team “will work to engage more participants.”

Aside from being successful, the 2014 campaign was fun, with a variety of innovative events and fundraisers. They included the Dunk Tank, Candy Grams, Coin Wars, Hoop it Up, Crazy Hat, pictures with Sebastian, Taste of UM, and Flick Football, to name a few.

One of only a handful of local institutions to consistently exceed the $1 million mark, UM has supported the United Way for nearly 40 years, enhancing countless lives through a host of programs aimed at improving education, financial stability, and health.

View the campaign summary report.

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Cyclists Hit the Streets for a Wheel Good Cause—Fighting Cancer

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

MIAMI, Fla. (February 8, 2015)—The pain shooting down Celia Schieffelin’s left ankle was only a minor distraction. Inspired by the courageous battle her mother fought but ultimately lost against cancer, the 19-year-old University of Miami student seemed impervious to just about anything during a 25-mile bike ride from Fort Lauderdale’s Esplanade Park to Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

But Schieffelin didn’t complete the marathon-length journey to shine a spotlight on herself. “It’s about the cause,” she said.

Schieffelin was one of the more than 2,700 cyclists who took to the streets February 7-8 for Dolphins Cycling Challenge V. The two-day charity event, which culminated Sunday with hundreds of cyclists riding to Sun Life Stadium, raises funds for the lifesaving treatment and research programs of UM’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Former Miami Dolphins tight end Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich helped start the fundraiser five years ago while he was battling bile duct cancer, a disease that took his life in April 2011 at the age of 62. The event, which features rides of various lengths over three counties, has raised close to $10 million since it began in 2010, with more than $3.4 million being raised for this year’s DCC.

Several UM employees and students rode as members of Team Sylvester. Schieffelin formed her own team. “We all feel very strongly and passionate about wiping out cancer, and that’s why we united to form Team Barb,” she said, referring to the group of cyclists she organized to honor her late mother, Barbara Burg, and raise funds for Sylvester’s research initiatives.

On Sunday, Schieffelin crossed the finish line about two hours after she departed Fort Lauderdale—other members of Team Barb riding alongside her or following closely behind. Wearing hot pink jerseys with the slogan “Team Barb: Family Is Forever” on the front, they included Schieffelin’s aunts and uncles, who flew in from New York to ride with her, as well as fellow UM students and a group of friends who traveled from California. Thirty-two riders strong, Team Barb has raised more than $100,000 for the cause.

It was Schieffelin’s second DCC. She rode in DCC IV in November 2013 as a freshman, completing a 13-mile ride even as her mother battled colorectal cancer that had spread to other parts of her body. The finance and management major almost missed this year’s ride, tearing two ligaments in her left ankle last semester. But the injury, while not completely healed, improved enough so that she could train on a stationary bike to prepare for the event.

Like Schieffelin, Lynette Estrada’s reason for riding hits close to home. Her teenage son, Lucas, in addition to having autism, has battled brain cancer for most of his life. “We draw strength from each other,” said Estrada. “Despite his autism, he understands why I ride. When I tell him or remind him, he answers, ‘Oh yeah!’ And he puts up both fists as if he’s fighting someone. Lucas is my biggest fan.”

Lucas came down with a persistent cough days before the DCC. So instead of riding the 72-mile “Perfect Season Ride” from West Palm Beach to Miami, as she had planned, Estrada hooked up her Specialized road bike to a trainer and pedaled for five hours inside her home on Sunday, stopping only for water breaks and to administer medication to her son.

It was Joe Natoli’s fourth Dolphins Cycling Challenge. UM’s senior vice president for business and finance and chief financial officer rode 170 miles—from Sun Life Stadium to West Palm Beach on Saturday, with the return ride on Sunday. He called Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center “a hugely important community asset.”

“It needs to be—and is on its way to being—one of the finest cancer centers in the world,” said Natoli. “The DCC, by providing significant funds for unrestricted cancer research, addresses one of the most critical needs for achieving world-class status. I’m thrilled with the growth in the DCC over its first five years, but we have just scratched the surface of its potential—and Sylvester’s potential for greatness.”

Among the other prominent riders: Stuart A. Miller, chairman of the UM Board of Trustees; Pascal J. Goldschmidt, senior vice president for medical affairs, dean of the Miller School of Medicine, and CEO of UHealth; and Stephen D. Nimer, director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

This year’s event included a 5K run/walk, held in the early-morning hours on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium before the cyclists started to arrive.

 

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UM Women’s Commission Drive to Help Safe Space

The UM Women’s Commission is once again sponsoring a drive to collect donations for Safe Space, a shelter for women escaping from domestic violence. Suggested items include gently used clothing, toiletries, gift cards, baby products and unwrapped toys for children. Donations will be accepted through Monday, December 15 Collection boxes can be found at the following locations: University Center lobby, Ashe Building lobby, Herbert Wellness Center atrium, Newman Alumni Center (2nd floor break room), and Gables One Tower, Suite 1050. A collection box is also located in the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center lobby on the Miller School of Medicine campus.

If you have any questions, email Patty Swift at pswift@miami.edu.

 

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